Thursday, 9 October 2014

The Travel Diaries: Lantau Island, Hong Kong

One of my favourite excursions around Hong Kong was Jossi's and my trip to Lantau Island. We were planning to visit Lantau to see the famous giant Buddha statue and the surrounding monastery, however while Jossi was running some early morning errands she discovered something a little out of the ordinary.

I was roused from my bed by the phone ringing. 'Do you want to hike to a secret infinity pool?!' Joss near enough screamed down the phone, while my sleep addled brain whirred into life. I mumbled that of course I did (I mean, anything branded 'secret' sounds like fun, right?) and then sat about packing our bikinis into my bag.

A little later the word 'hike' floated back across my subconscious. I dismissed it. There's no way Joss had meant 'hike' in the traditional sense. I mean, it was 30+ degrees outside and as humid as a steam room. Plus we only had our flip flops on! Hiking surely wasn't on the cards... I grabbed my bag and went to meet Joss.

A little while later we arrived on Lantau Island and took a bus to the Giant Buddha. We were greeted by the Twelve Divine Generals (the protectors of Buddhism) as we walked through the Ngong Ping Piazza towards the Po Lin Monastery and the giant bronze Buddha perched atop his hilltop.

After wandering around the decadently decorated monastery and its grounds, we braved the 268 step climb up to the base of the Buddha, who towered above us at 34m tall! The size of the statue was a tad overwhelming to say the least!

After we'd absorbed our fill of the spiritual area, we decided it was time for our dip. So we hopped on the bus to Tai O, a small, traditional fishing village on the island. At this point, Joss pulled out her instructions to the infinity pool. 'Cross the stone bridge by the bus station. After an hour, you will reach a red fire hydrant marked '470'. Find the small concrete staircase to your left and walk up to the infinity pool.' 'Doesn't sound too tricky,' we thought to ourselves as we started to walk. And walk. We followed the shore for what felt like forever, keeping an eye out for the fire hydrant. I started to get worried we'd missed it, but we determinedly pressed on, battling terrifying spiders, stubbing our exposed toes on rocks and baring scorching heat on our quest.

Eventually, we found the (very overgrown) hydrant and the staircase and started to climb. Up and up we went, stopping after a good twenty minutes of steep climbing for a breather, and a quiet melt on a concrete slab. 'This pool better be worth it,' we grumbled before pressing on higher and higher.

It was. It would have been worth twice the hike. It was beautiful.

Natural waterfalls filled the pool, which was dammed off at one end by a man made concrete wall which dropped sheerly down the mountainside. The view was stunning and the water crystal clear and surprisingly warm. We had found our own little paradise!

We paddled, splashed and swam, incredibly happy to be cooling off after our gruelling hike in such a beautiful setting.

However, before long the sun started to sink and it was time to go home. So we picked up our clothes and headed back down the mountainside. The hike, thankfully, wasn't nearly as bad down hill!


  1. Haha oh how I love those "this better be worth it..."-moments! Most of the time, they definitely are!

  2. Totally with you there Britt- so far haven't regretted any!

  3. wow this looks incredible! And oh my got this spider is so scary :s and I complain about the small ones we have in England haha xx

  4. God, the spiders were terrifying- I kept thinking one would drop on my head!

  5. Wow Katie your photos are amazing!!! It looks like you are having an amazing time!

    Beth x

  6. what an amazing looking trip. I've never been to Asia but am dying to visit!